Buffalo Bills 53-man roster prediction
We are one week away from the start of Training Camp for the Buffalo Bills at St. John Fisher College. Training camp is a time for unknowns to make a name for themselves, or to have their NFL dreams crushed by the dreaded “cut day”. The Bills, along with the other 31 NFL team will start with 90 players on their roster and gradually cut-down until there are the best 53 men left. Here we project who will make the Bills team when the regular season begins.
Keep: EJ Manuel, Tyrod Taylor
Cut: Matt Cassell, Matt Simms
- I had stated previously that Matt Cassel is on the hot seat in Buffalo and with a non-guaranteed contract could be cut loose in Training Camp. Taylor has been impressive and ultimately will be the backup behind EJ, who will be given one last chance to prove he is not a first round bust.
Keep: LeSean McCoy, Fred Jackson, Karlos Williams (R), Boobie Dixon
Cut: Bryce Brown
- If Boobie Dixon was not a good locker room guy and solid on special teams he could be cut loose too, especially with rookie Karlos Williams impressing coaches during OTA’s. Bryce Brown will not last long, but should find another job.
Keep: Jerome Felton
Cut: John Conner
- Conner is a favorite of head coach Rex Ryan, but with the team signing Felton to a contract that runs through the 2018 season, he will be the odd man out.
Keep: Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, Percy Harvin, Chris Hogan, Marquise Goodwin, Dez Lewis (R)
Cut: Marcus Easley, Marcus Thigpen, Deonte Thompson, Caleb Holley, Andre Davis, Tobias Palmer, Justin Brown
- The talk around Buffalo is that Goodwin the long-jump star could see his days numbered, but his speed and play-making ability is hard to find on the football field. Marcus Easley has not been able to stay on the field due to injury despite his potential, a new coaching staff will show him the door despite being signed to a multi-year deal this offseason.
Keep: Charles Clay, Nick O’Leary (R), MarQueis Gray
Cut: Matthew Mulligan, Chris Gragg, Chris Manhertz
- This position will be fairly easy for the Bills coaching staff. Prized free agent Charles Clay and rookie Nick O’Leary are locks to make it, and former Brown MarQuies Gray has been impressive during offseason workouts.
Keep: Seantrel Henderson, Cordy Glenn, Cyrus Kouandjio
Cut: William Cambpell, Tyson Chandler
- The three tackles who make it are obvious choices, the real questions lies in who will actually start for the team. Henderson, the 2014 7th round pick who started all 16 games last season has been overtaken by 2014 2nd round pick Kouandjio on the depth chart. But will that last? In my eyes, Henderson is a much more talented lineman.
Keep: John Miller (R), Richie Incognito, Chris Williams
Cut: Cyril Richardson, DJ Morrell, Darryl Johnson
- The battle for a roster spot will come down to Williams and last year’s 5th round pick Richardson. Williams, who is coming off of offseason back surgery was absent at voluntary minicamps making some wonder whether he will even make it to Training Camp with the team. If the Bills pick the more talented player, Williams will make it, but Richardson is cheaper making it a possibility that he stays on the team.
Keep: Eric Wood, Kraig Urbik
Cut: Alex Kupper
- All I can say is, duh.
Keep: Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes, Michael Buchanan, Jarius Wynn
Cut: BJ Larsen, Cedric Reed, Erik Williams
- This is a fairly obvious list. Lookout for Buchanan, who came over from the Patriots and is a sleeper to breakout under Ryan’s tutelage.
Keep: Marcell Dareus (suspended), Kyle Williams, Stefan Charles, Corbin Bryant, Andre Fluellen
Cut: Alex Carrington, Justin Hamilton, Jeremy Towns
- The closest battle lies between Carrington and Fluellen. I believe Fluellen’s experience wins out and his ability to man the nose tackle position while eating up space against the run. With a bevy of pass rushers the Bills need to focus on stopping the run and Fluellen does a better job at that than Carrington. Carrington, however, is more versatile and can play multiple positions along the line.
Keep: Preston Brown, Nigel Bradham, Ty Powell, AJ Tarpley (R)
Cut: Tony Steward (R), Jimmy Gaines
- Undrafted rookie AJ Tarpley is a tackle machine and should beat out 6th round pick Tony Steward for the last linebacker spot. I do expect Steward to be on the practice squad if no team scoops him up before then.
Keep: Manny Lawson, Randell Johnson
Cut: Andrew Hudson
- This position does not offer a lot of depth to the Bills so I can see them upgrading once a player gets cut from another team. Until then, Randell Johnson looks like a safe bet to make the squad.
Keep: Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin, Nickell Roby, Ron Brooks, Ronald Darby (R)
Cut: Cam Thomas, Rod Sweeting, Mario Butler, Ross Cockrell
- One of the deeper positions on the Bills roster, it will be tough for any on the cut list to make the 53-man roster. Keep an eye out for Mario Butler who was one of the best DB’s during OTA’s but will likely not receive much of a chance to make the team.
Keep: Aaron Williams, Duke Williams, Corey Graham, Baccari Rambo, Jonathan Meeks
Cut: Wes Miller, Kenny Ladler
- Another very deep position, the versatility of these safeties allows the Bills to keep five cornerback’s because any of these players can be a nickel or dime corner, especially Graham. Rambo and Meeks are special teams monsters.
Keep: Dan Carpenter, Colton Schmidt, Garrison Sanborn
Cut: Jordan Gray
- Another set of obvious choices for Rex and his staff.
I have listed 52 players to make the team. Through my sources, I expect the Bills to sign a free agent before Training Camp officially begins. Stay tuned for more details….
Dan Schalk is the Founder of MyFantasySportsTalk, you can follow him on Twitter @FFSportsTalk